The Buffalo Bills ranked first in the NFL by ESPN for continuity entering the upcoming season.
The stability the Buffalo Bills have is remarkable and this franchise hasn’t seen this since the days of Jim Kelly and Marv Levy. In over two decades, the Buffalo Bills don’t have any question about the people they have in place at key positions like general manager, with Brandon Beane, head coach, with Sean McDermott, and quarterback, with Josh Allen.
However, the stability goes past those three roles and the Buffalo Bills are entering the upcoming season with the most snaps returning from the previous year at 88%, according to recent rankings done by ESPN. They finish with just over 3% more snaps returning than the defending Super Bowl Champion Kansas City Chiefs.
"1. Buffalo Bills: 88.0% snaps returningOffensive snaps returning: 95.4% (1st in NFL)Defensive snaps returning: 80.4% (7th)Starters returning: 23 (10 offense,10 defense, 3 special teams)Non-coordinator assistants returning: 20 of 22Coordinators returning: 3 of 3 (Brian Daboll, OC; Leslie Frazier, DC; Heath Farwell, ST)Starting QB: Josh Allen, 3rd yearHead coach: Sean McDermott, 4th year (25-23)What it means: Continuity is everything for a Bills team looking to take the next step as a contender. GM Brandon Beane has almost completely flipped this roster since he arrived in 2017 and turned Buffalo into a playoff team. The talent and depth in Buffalo in 2020 should produce its first division title since 1995. — Marcel Louis-Jacques"
The Buffalo Bills this offseason didn’t have many critical free agents, or players that felt like they had to be re-signed. They were able to bring back starting left guard Quinton Spain but saw Jordan Phillips and Shaq Lawson leave in free agency, with Phillips heading to the Arizona Cardinals and Lawson heading south to join AFC East division rival Miami Dolphins.
The continuity is also felt in the coaching staff as the Buffalo Bills are entering 2020 with the same head coach, offensive coordinator and defensive coordinator for a third straight season. The Bills have Brian Daboll returning as offensive coordinator and Leslie Frazier as defensive coordinator. In today’s NFL, this is a rarity but it really is a benefit for some of the younger guys, like Josh Allen and Tremaine Edmunds, to have the same coach talking to them when they are on the field.
This offseason has created challenges for NFL teams due to the pandemic and limited practice time so having this continuity is probably more valuable than previous years. The familiarity everyone has with each other throughout the organization should help the Buffalo Bills hit the ground running once practices and games resume.